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Market Wrap: Equities Seesaw as Ukraine Unpredictability Continues


  • Markets behaved erratically Tuesday as conflicting reports emerged from Ukraine
  • Biden said Tuesday the US would ban Russian energy imports, and Congress is likely to pass a $14 billion aid package for Ukraine

Markets behaved erratically Tuesday as investors were unsure how to handle news emerging from Ukraine. News starting this week seemed positive as talks between Russia and Ukraine were mediated by Israel’s prime minister.

President Biden announced Tuesday that Russian energy imports, including oil, would “no longer be accepted by US ports and the American people.”

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, thanked Biden and encouraged other leaders to do the same.

“Thankful for US and @POTUS personal leadership in striking in the heart of Putin’s war machine and banning oil, gas and coal from US market,” Zelensky said. “Encourage other countries and leaders to follow.”

Equity markets ricocheted on the day, with the S&P 500 ending down 0.72% and the Nasdaq and Dow declining 0.39% and 0.56%, respectively.

Congress was also quick to fold a $14 billion Ukraine aid package into a funding bill that must be passed by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Some lawmakers are unhappy with the aid’s entanglement with the funding bill, while others are hopeful that the time crunch will speed up the release of aid to Ukraine.

Russia was accused Tuesday of breaking the ceasefire and even shelling evacuation routes out of Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko.

“Ceasefire violated! Russian forces are now shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol,” Nikolenko tweeted. “8 trucks + 30 buses ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol and to evac civilians to Zaporizhzhia. Pressure on Russia MUST step up to make it uphold its commitments.”

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seemed to avoid the negative pressure and pushed into the positive Tuesday. Bitcoin saw a 1.06% gain on the day while ether jumped by 2.40% on the day. Today’s biggest gainer among the top 100 coins by market capitalization was the privacy token Zcash with an almost 17.6% gain.

Top stories

Story: Bain Capital Ventures Launches $560M Crypto-focused Fund as Ecosystem Booms

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Story: Congressional Action on Stablecoins Could Come as Soon as This Month, Source Says

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Story: Bitcoin Mining Operators Jostling for Market Share in 2022

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Story: Avalanche Foundation’s ‘Multiverse’ Incentive Program To Invest Up to $290M

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Going forward

Crypto markets seem to be awaiting Biden’s looming executive order before making any moves up or down. Investors are also waiting on the mid-March Fed meeting that will determine interest rates going forward.

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    Luke Conway

    Editor, Evergreen Content

    As Editor of Evergreen Content at Blockworks, Luke Conway oversees the creation of comprehensive educational guides on all things crypto to help users navigate the space. Before Blockworks he worked as an associate editor for Investopedia, managing broker reviews and a cryptocurrency news desk.

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